Swastika at the Technion
Swastika at the TechnionIm Tirtzu

The Zionist student group Im Tirtzu has complained to Technion University after a swastika was found on a sign at the Haifa-based university this Sunday, demanding that the university's president condemn the incident and take steps against those behind it.

In the letter to university president Prof. Peretz Lavie, the group wrote "there aren't enough words to describe our deep shock as students of the Technion and citizens of the state of Israel."

"For years the Technion has been building relations of coexistence between the different populations studying there, while giving each student an equal opportunity to realize the potential hidden within them," wrote the group. "A swastika, and it still isn't clear who is responsible for this lowly act, again shakes the relations between Jews and Arabs in the campus that we have labored for for years."

"We expect you and the management of the Technion to condemn (this incident) clearly and level all disciplinary sanctions set in the guidelines against this incident," the group said in a call to Lavie.

Im Tirtzu added that it expects "you brief the security unit of the Technion to find those responsible for this lowly act."

Technion issued a response to the incident early in the week, saying "we express disgust from the act and denounce it unanimously. We emphasize that the Technion is a leading apolitical academic institution, which is an example of coexistence and accepting the other."

"The Technion campus is open and accessible to the public and thousands of people pass through every day. The vandalism was immediately removed," concluded the Technion statement.

However, Matan Peleg, CEO of the Im Tirtzu movement, said "the Technion for many months is trying to ignore at any price the rising phenomena of hatred by Arab students towards Jewish students and the state of Israel."

"This kind of ignoring doesn't just make the problem worse and strengthen it, but leaves the coexistence in Haifa as an empty term," continued Peleg.

He continued "the phenomenon of incitement and extremism of the Arab population in the Technion must be fought at all costs, the Islamic Movement in Israel must be removed from the campus at all costs, and the responsibility is laid first and foremost on the Technion management and the one standing at its head."